Smartphone domination nearly complete

6 a.m. March 29

In case you haven't raised your head long enough to notice the throngs of people gazing hypnotically at their smartphones, the nation has passed a milestone.

Tease photo

Strictly Business: Vancouver vibe lacks, as many in tech see it

By Gordon Oliver March 29, 2015 6 a.m.

When high-end digital pen maker Wacom sprung the news this month that it would bail from Vancouver for a glitzier corporate address in Portland's Pearl District, company spokesman Doug Little acknowledged the move would be a loss to Vancouver and its technology business sector.

Berko: Interest in Cuban bonds has its qualifiers

By Malcolm Berko March 28, 2015 6 a.m.

Dear Mr. Berko: What do you think of buying the Cuban 4.5 percent bonds issued in 1937, which came due in 1977 and sell for about 10 cents on the dollar? Now that President Barack Obama has begun to normalize relations with Cuba, I think those bonds could pay off, especially if the embargo were to be lifted. Seeing as they sell for 10 cents on the dollar, for $10,000 I could buy bonds with a face value of $100,000. What do you think?

Dalesandro seeks Baker's seat on port commission

By The Columbian March 28, 2015 6 a.m.

Scott Dalesandro, general manager at Columbia River Logistics in Vancouver, has announced his candidacy for the District 2 seat on the nonpartisan Port of Vancouver Board of Commissioners that is now held by Nancy Baker.

BlackBerry earns surprise profit as sales fall

By Gerrit De Vynck, Bloomberg News March 28, 2015 6 a.m.

TORONTO — BlackBerry Ltd. reported a surprise fourth-quarter profit Friday after cutting costs and increasing the average price of its smartphones amid slumping sales.

Entrepreneur works to remedy lack of Internet backup options

By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press March 28, 2015 6 a.m.

Hunter Newby describes himself as a real estate entrepreneur, even if he's not marketing houses or land. Instead, he's selling space on a new fiber-optic transmission line to Internet providers, telecommunications companies and anyone wanting high-speed data.

NW Natural participates in energy-efficiency financing

By The Columbian March 28, 2015 6 a.m.

NW Natural is participating in an initiative that will help Washington customers finance energy-efficiency improvements by spreading out upfront costs through monthly payments.

Heinz-Kraft deal opens lid on possibly shaking up General Mills, other food giants

By Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) March 28, 2015 6 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills Inc. doesn't have to worry about 3G Capital and Warren Buffett taking a run at it anytime soon, analysts say. The long term is another story.

BMW recalls nearly 49,000 motorcycles due to fears that rear wheel can loosen

By Associated Press March 27, 2015 4:51 p.m.

DETROIT — BMW is recalling nearly 49,000 motorcycles in the U.S. and Canada because flanges that hold the rear wheel can crack if bolts are too tight.

New shopping app Quid caters to absent-minded

By Gordon Oliver March 27, 2015 4:28 p.m.

Add one more app to the mushrooming list of technology tools intended to eliminate the inconvenience of waiting for just about anything.

Plans dropped for large wind farm project in north-central Oregon

By Associated Press March 27, 2015 4:19 p.m.

BEND, Ore. — Plans for a big wind farm in north-central Oregon have been scrapped, state regulators say.

Jury rules against Ellen Pao in gender-bias lawsuit

By Heather Somerville and Julia Love, San Jose Mercury News March 27, 2015 4:08 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Ellen Pao lost her three-year battle with one of the world's most prestigious venture capital firms Friday when a jury found that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers did not discriminate against her because of her gender.

Oil council: Shale won't last, Arctic drilling needed now

By JONATHAN FAHEY, Associated Press March 27, 2015 11:47 a.m.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, an Energy Department advisory council says in a study submitted Friday.

SeaWorld mounts new ad campaign

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press March 27, 2015 6 a.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. — SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. is mounting a public defense of its animal handling in a new advertising campaign that began Monday, after a highly critical 2013 documentary left the park with declining revenue and attendance.

Singletary: Letter from the IRS rattles the nerves

By Michelle Singletary March 27, 2015 6 a.m.

My heart skipped a beat. The letter from the Internal Revenue Service was sitting next to the microwave in my kitchen, nearly buried under a stack of junk mail. When I pulled it from the pile, I noticed it was a little thick, and that's never a good sign. I was already worried and I hadn't even opened the envelope. Why was the IRS sending my husband and me correspondence? We hadn't filed our 2014 returns yet.

New Samsung, HTC phones coming in April

By Associated Press March 27, 2015 6 a.m.

NEW YORK — New phones from Samsung and HTC will be available in U.S. stores starting April 10.

Register for the upcoming Economic Forecast Breakfast on Jan. 22, 2015 at the Vancouver Hilton, and catch a glimpse of the growth and development opportunities that lie ahead for this region. This year's keynote features Ken Fisher, founder and CEO of Fisher Investments in Camas, who will provide his outlook for the local economy.